Tuesday, 14 June 2011

June harvest: week two

Today it is sunny, and noticeably warm. Sadly, that's a rarity. It was similar on Saturday, but the breeze got up later in the day, and in any case I spent the afternoon and evening away from home (helping my friend with her tomatoes - well, giving her some plants, installing them in her greenhouse, showing her the ropes). So today I must make the most of a dry spell - Sunday was the opposite, cold and rainy, but most days are cool to mild, with showers. Not good for cementing, painting, or using powertools outdoors! I'm hoping to get the final roof panel on the greenhouse today, and maybe the door.

I pulled up the peas. I had one large container (almost a raised bed) of them, and although they'd persevered through everything we've had this spring, the snails didn't relent, and I decided to pull them up, releasing space for probably a couple of pumpkin plants. The broad beans similarly, have produced little - tiny beans, smallish pods, and not many of them. I will probably pull them up wholesale over the next week or so.
My pitiful harvest - this is all the peas I got, plus some broad beans.

I wrote the paragraph above before I went into the front garden a little earlier. In fact, patience has paid off there - the chest-high bean plants have fat pods hidden at the base of their stems. I still won't have a glut, but it's not a disaster - enough to encourage me to try again next year, with more plants, earlier sowing, and more discipline. I will leave the existing plants until the pods are ripe, rather than ripping them up.

However, there's been no shortage of strawberries, as I mentioned in my last post, and the raspberries are ripening too. I'll give the currants a few more days, and what gooseberries there are are starting to blush (they're a red variety), so I'll wait until they're ready. Otherwise, there's not much to have - the shallots are fattening, but the leaves are still green, so I expect it'll be a month before I can harvest them. The tomatoes are flowering left, right, and centre, but no fruit has set as yet (I'm starting to get concerned). Everything else is either too small, or I haven't sown it yet. Damn.

Totals for week 8th-14th June:
8th: 190g strawberries
10th: 4g raspberries and alpine (wild) strawberries, 274g strawberries, 22g snap peas, 20g broad beans, 28g peas (day total: 348g)
12th: 330g strawberries, 3g raspberries, 2g cherries (day total: 335g)
13th: 7g broad beans, 5g alpine strawberries, 43g raspberries, 172g strawberries (day total: 227g)
14th: 30g raspberries, 305g strawberries, 39g spinach, 50g broad beans, 87g turnip, 31 broad bean tops, 245g turnip tops (day total: 787g)
Total for week: 1.897kg (once again, more than the whole year to date!)
Year to date total: 3.047kg

So, not a bad week, statistically. In fact, the stuff I gathered just today amounts to more than one-and-a-half times the weight of everything I harvested up to the end of May! Clearly, June is a season of mellow fruitfulness - I just hope this isn't a peak, but more a sign of the bounty yet to come.

And what did I do with all that produce? Well, the strawberries went into a batch of syrup, and I'll make another one with some of the rest (the syrup really is divine - I'll post a recipe soon). I'll look through my recipe books for the small batch of raspberries I have so far - maybe a mousse, tart, or jelly. The spinach, peas, beans and turnip go into my dinners (usually rice), and their tops will make a soup (a bit of an experiment!).

1 comment:

Sally said...

Sorry - it's a while since I've had a chance to pop by and read - but now that I have it's like stepping into a different country! All that produce. My mouth has been watering more with every post I've caught up on! I am saving the tomato post for another day when I can come back and take in all the detail.
Congratulations on the greenhouse - it looks a really professional, solid structure - and somehow I can just smell that distinct greenhouse smell coming off the page!
As for the strawberries - I am torn between which I want to make first - pureed with bourbon or the syrup! I bought two plants and have had about 6 fruits - so I would be buying them! And am also looking forward to when you start harvesting raspberries and sharing your ideas and recipes for using them - as I'm lucky on the raspberry front to have a friend with an allotment who last year had raspberries galore to share - so I am hoping to be on the glut dispersal list this year as well!